Another thrilling van ride. I was much reminded of The Matrix, and Morpheus’s admonition to his crew. “You told me never to get on the freeway; you said that it was suicide,” Trinity reminds him. His reply: “Then let us hope that I was wrong.” Intact but enervated, we arrive in Greenwich Village at the Blue Note.
Just before the Holland Tunnel, there are whoops, as we learn that Jonathan’s mother has heard the broadcast in the family home in Tel Aviv.
Great time talking with our bassist, Josh Hari. We both grew up in California, though decades apart, have a few people in common. He has both feet in our conversation, but two toes in the act of preserving his bass, laid out alongside us in the van, from the New Jersey roads. He cradles the neck, displaying a mixture of protective field and sanguine, “what the heck” vibe that professional bass players seem to develop. The thing is an albatross, but it’s also part of them. You travel with a bass, you know bad things can happen. The airline destroyed Josh’s case on the way down from Boston.
Sound check goes hitch-free. Everyone here is a pro, and it shows. Economy of motion, the chairs come down off the tables, and the wait staff rolls napkins; onstage, amps and drums are set, and the tech crew unrolls cables. It sounds fiendishly loud, but tonight’s expected 200 music lovers will absorb a lot of these decibels. The tech guys seem to know exactly how many.
I go to dinner in the Village with Becca Pulliam, exec. producer of NPR’s JazzSet, while the band repairs to the hotel to transform themselves from today’s slightly louche sneakermen into tonight’s suit-clad, jazz warriors.